Squabble City

posted by Momo Fali on June 18, 2012

School has been out for 18 days and my head hasn’t exploded. I’d say that’s a win.

Of course, this is not for my kids’ lack of trying. They have given it their all, what with the constant bickering and sometimes kicking. There may have also been biting, but I haven’t confirmed they were actual teeth-marks.

It wasn’t that long ago that they loved each other. I remember it! I don’t remember a lot (*waves at Ambien*), but I do remember that there was once affection and kindness where now there is none.


My mom tells me this is normal; that because my sisters were so much older than me, I was like an only child and I didn’t have the benefit of squabbling with a sibling. I do, however, remember two of my sisters fighting. I was 5, they were 18 and 20. I don’t recall much other than our toy-fox terrier taking a bite out of one of their ankles and there weren’t a lot of fists being thrown. Scratches and hair-pulling, yes. Punches, no. At least it was a fair fight.

In my house, with an average-size 13 year old and a 10 year old who can still get into amusement parks for free, my daughter has an unfair advantage; at least in the height-department. My son makes up for this with his skilled mind tricks though. Like when he purposely falls over his sister’s foot and claims she tripped him.

He also knows exactly how to push her buttons and how to irritate her with maximum efficiency and little effort. Just for the record, he inherited that trait from his dad. Last night, my husband asked me out of the blue, “So, would you be mad at me if I tried bath salts? My guy, stirring up trouble since 1971.

People, please tell me that the arguing will stop someday and my kids will love each other again. If you feel like being generous, tell me that day will be soon.

My mental health is depending on it.


  • Moon HalloranLeady

    Well…I *wish* I could say that it will get better before it gets worse, but since my grams told me I’m not supposed to lie, I won’t then πŸ˜‰

    My kids are 17 and 19…and I don’t ever leave them alone in the same room these days lest they do bodily harm to each other and thus ruin my carpets with all the blood stains.

    I’ll let you know when it gets better when *I* know.

    Don’t hold your breath though.


  • Desiree Eaglin

    When my brother and I were about the age your kids are now we fought like cats and dogs. We didn’t start getting along again until I moved out of the house at 18.
    At the end of the day, they love each other and they will resolve their issues. This is totally natural!

  • Missy

    I am right there! As my 4 year old is screeching the same refrain from an annoying song to my 9 year old with Sensory issues. Thankfully, there are peaceful moments. They are few, but they are there. And I take em’ when I can get em’.

  • Canadian Chris

    My kids are still in the love phase but I’ve heard rumours that they are going to start their UFC careers soon. I am not looking forward to this phase…. Thanks for confirming my suspicions. Good Luck with the rest of the summer πŸ™‚

  • Tara R.

    When my kids were younger the snark between them was unbearable. There is 4 years between their ages. After a lot of tears and yelling (mostly mine), turned out The Boy resented his sister because he felt she had a much easier life than he did (he has some ‘issues’ she didn’t and it’s been horrible for him at times) and she resented him because she didn’t understand what his problems were and thought we (the parents) let him get away with bad behavior. Once they understood what was really happening, their began to get along better. Now they are good friends, and are planning for him to visit her at college for a long weekend.

    Your kids will one day be friends again, and soon. Sometimes it may just be a huge misunderstanding or built up resentment no one has ever actually addressed.

  • Rhea

    There is no end to it. I swear. Only thing that works in my house is duct tape and separate closets. hehe

  • Kat Kirkpatrick

    At least they got along for awhile, right? Memories…

    Really, my brother and sister and I are all close in age and we tried to kill each other the whole time we were kids. I think that we still might kill one another, given the right circumstances.

    Good luck! I kind of doubt that many moms get through motherhood with their sanity intact. I know I won’t.

  • Susan

    My sister and I were 4 years apart in age and fought like cats and dogs until she went away to college. A little space did us lots of good. She is type A and I am not I think that was the root of all our problems but I’m so glad she lives across the street from me now and tell her often how thankful I am for her.

  • Drie

    This is perfectly normal. My sister and I are just under two years apart, and we fought quite a bit. Our relationship changed once we got into high school…and once she graduated and went to college (she’s older than me) we became closer than ever.

    A lot of what’s going on with your kiddos has to do with hormones. Give it time, this too shall pass.

  • dysfunctional mom

    It has only been a few years ago that I sat one time sobbing, truly convinced that my son literally hated his younger sister. I thought I had done something horribly wrong and made him resent her forever.
    They’re fine now. She adores him and he not only tolerates her but sometimes even has very pleasant conversations with her. And I have no doubt that he loves her. (It amazes me to type that now.)
    This too will pass (although I’m not making any promises as to when….)

  • Arnebya

    I keep feeling like there is something I’m doing incorrectly, something that is causing the die now glares between them. My sisters and I got along perfectly as children. While I will admit that we were not particularly close, we did not argue. As adults, we are much closer, having more things in common, I suppose, what with husbands and babies and no money and such.

    I want to believe it is a phase (but the rational, although perhaps unrealistic part of me believes something is wrong with them; aren’t they supposed to be in love?). They are 11 and 8. I remember when they were genuinely inseparable. Now? One enters the room and the other leaves. If the other follows, SCREAM YELL SMASH HATE.

  • Always Home and Uncool

    2 words. Happy. Hour.

  • mare ball

    I have stories of both. My sister and I fought as kids, are now very close. My son always bullied my daughter, and at 35 and 32, they still are not close. I think some of it is the personality of the kid. Sometimes it take a family crisis to bring everybody together. Your kids are still young…there’s still hope. πŸ™‚

  • tracey

    I know that my kids aren’t perfect. They fight horribly at times. But the two younger ones still look for each other before bed to hug good night, so I guess there’s still love…

    yours have love in there. It’s just hard to be around someone whose entire purpose is to annoy you, you know?

  • meleah rebeccah

    Oh yes. The fighting WILL end. Eventually. I tortured my younger brother for years when we were little kids. Now he’s my very best friend in the whole wide world.

  • Rachel, BacknGrooveMom

    I can tell from the moment my boys get up if they are going to get along or if it is going to be ONE OF those days. You know the kind that result in duct tape down the middle of the playroom marking the quadrants.

  • Tom

    Hmmm. Well, I’d love to give a happy report, but at 18,17, 16 and 8, there are still plenty of squabbles at our place. Fortunately the kick-boxing has subsided, though. So there’s that.

  • AlisonH

    They do. Honest. And I’m laughing, thinking of the time when my grandpa turned 90 and there was a big family reunion.

    A cousin had a videocamera going (this was almost 20 years ago, so it was big and on a tripod) and a tape recorder too while pumping Grampa with questions, getting him to reminisce.

    Then the announcement that we were out of videotape. And with that, all five of Grampa’s kids at the table visibly relaxed and started teasing each other and going, Yeah well the REAL story about…! and acting like cheerful but teasing teenagers–“OH no, THIS is how it went!” in front of their stunned and intrigued grown children with children of their own. Wow. Too funny!

  • AlisonH

    Oh and then: the cousin leaned to my husband and whispered, The tape recorder’s still going.

  • Allison

    I don’t know when it will end, either. But, at least I’m there with ya, girlfriend! Our kids are the same ages and this summer it seems they’ve declared war on one another for no other reason than to watch mama eventually explode. I keep telling them the LORD made them adorable so I wouldn’t snuff them out!

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